Startup Wickr on Monday released snoop-thwarting messaging software
tailored for Android-powered smartphone or tablets, following last
year's release of the program for Apple devices.
"Wickr not only
offers the most secure form of correspondence but also helps protect our
users' contacts as we anonymize this information before it leaves the
senders phone," said startup co-founder Robert Statica.
does not collect any personally identiable information on users nor can
we read any messages or contents sent through Wickr, therefore, no
criminal or rogue government can take them from us."
Wickr has not
released details on numbers of users, but reported seeing "exponential
growth" since releasing a free version for Apple mobile devices in June
of last year.
The free version of Wickr that debuted on Monday was
tailored for devices running on Google's Android mobile platform that
dominates the smartphone market.
Wickr was fielded as a more secure option to messaging platforms at online venues such as Skype, Facebook, SnapChat.
release of Wickr Android for public beta comes at an important moment
in history as this right to privacy is challenged by governments,
corporations, lone criminals throughout the
world," Statica said.
"Bound by the strong belief that private
correspondence is a universal human right, San Francisco-based Wickr
aims to bring free private communication to users across the globe."
co-founder Nico Sell envisions building a "geek utopia" where people
hold the power when it comes to who sees what they share on the Internet
or from their phones.
"Freedom: there's an app for that," Sell said in an earlier interview with AFP.
business plan is to have hundreds of millions of people globally use
free versions of the application while a small percentage opt to pay for
premium features such as being able to control larger data files.
More information about the application was available online at mywickr.com.
Google, Facebook, and Microsoft are among Internet firms pushing for
permission to disclose more details to users about demands for data made
in the name of fighting terrorism or other threats.
titans have been eager to bolster the trust of its users by making it
clearer what has actually been demanded by and disclosed to US
A vast National Security Agency surveillance program
was exposed in a series of bombshell media leaks in recent months by
former US intelligence contractor Edward Snowden, who has been granted
temporary asylum in Russia.
Documents divulged by Snowden have
shown the NSA conducts a massive electronic dragnet, including trawling
through phone records and online traffic, that has sometimes flouted